Doulton and Beswick figures
By William Gregory MRICS Golding Young and Mawer.
Royal Doulton has been manufacturing the HN series of figurines for over 100 years, with more than 2,000 designs produced.
This creates a challenge to those collectors seeking more than a decorative ornament for the china cabinet. Tracking the rarer and possibly more valuable items takes a little detective work.
The original designs of the bestselling figures have barely changed and only the unique marking, or backstamp as it is often referred to, separate the earlier from the more modern examples. To the trained eye, detailing such as colourways may differentiate rarity and age, which are often the characteristics that define value.
Although collecting has been made substantially more easy with the development of online auction catalogues, time and money are still required. The collection can be never ending and still take a lifetime.
Should a collector achieve the perfect Doulton collection, they can move on to Beswick.
Beswick goes back to the 19th century but production of modelled horses and other animals started in 1939. Since then thousands of variations have been produced.
Beswick was collected in its own right when it was purchased by Doulton in 1969. Production finally ceased in 2002 with the closure of the factory in 2003, giving collectors the incentive of a perfect collection – although always check the backstamp, as production may have started elsewhere.